Slavery in St. Louis and The Freedom Suits

Exhibit Signage

Join us to see two connected exhibits focused on slavery. Slavery in St. Louis is a traveling exhibit created by the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site.  The Freedom Suits is an exhibit created for the Law Library Association by the Missouri State Archives.  

The Slavery in St. Louis exhibit explores the growth of slavery in St. Louis in the context of the politics, economics, and history of the area during the 18th and 19th centuries.  This exhibit uses primary sources, historical artifacts, and individual accounts of enslaved persons to illustrate the history of slavery in St. Louis.

The Freedom Suits exhibit will include original, rarely-seen court pleadings of three different types of claims made by enslaved people seeking their freedom.  The exhibit also will include explanatory panels about (1) Freedom Suits in St. Louis, (2) Freedom Suits in Missouri, and (3) Freedom Suits in the United States.

Presenting sponsors:

Law Library Association of St. Louis
The Freedom Suits Memorial Foundation

Freedom Suits logo

Additional sponsors: [list in formation]

Gold sponsors:

AJ Legal Services LLC
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Dowd Bennett
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
Thompson Coburn LLP

Bronze sponsors:

Thomas and Sara Neill

BAMSL Logo                 AJ Legal Logo     


 LSEM logo       Thompson Coburn logo

The Slavery in St. Louis exhibit runs from Tuesday September 3 through Tuesday October 1, 2024. The Freedom Suits exhibit runs from Tuesday September 3 through Tuesday December 3, 2024.  

For more information and for sponsorship opportunities, contact Library Director Gail Wechsler at or 314-622-4470.

More information about the exhibit coming soon!